Sometimes polenta is EXACTLY what I crave. It's hot. It can be cheesy. It can be smothered in syrup. It can be fried and topped with endless possibilities. No matter how I make it, it always reminds me of my childhood — and has a comforting warmth few things can replicate.
This polenta is salty and cheesy, topped with sweet and spicy chorizo. You get a bit of everything here! Since we always have spinach on hand (and even more so now that our garden is flourishing!), I threw some on the stove to get a bit of green into the mix — it was a great addition!
It may be summer, but this is the kind of meal you eat on that surprisingly cold night that catches you off-guard. It's filling and quick, and I still can't get over how delicious brown sugar and chorizo are when cooked together!
Creamy Thyme Polenta with Brown Sugar Chorizo and Spinach
Makes three servings
For the Polenta
1 cup corn meal (course ground)
2 cups water
2 cups milk
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon thyme
For the Chorizo
3 chorizo sausages, sliced into ¼" rounds
¼ cup brown sugar
For the Spinach
2 cups spinach, packed
1 tablespoon olive oil
All three steps can happen somewhat simultaneously, as none of them really takes very long.
For the polenta, start by covering the corn meal with 1 cup of cold water. Bring the other cup of water, plus the two cups of milk, to a boil in a saucepan over medium heat. When boiling, add the soaked cornmeal (including the water) and stir. Add the salt and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring regularly, until it begins to thicken. When it begins to thicken, add the thyme. Continue to cook and stir until it is quite thick, then remove from heat and stir in the cheese. Cover, and wait for the the chorizo and spinach to be done.
For the chorizo, sprinkle the brown sugar evenly across the bottom of a non-stick frying pan. If you don't have a non-stick pan, you could melt a little bit of butter in your pan before beginning. Carefully add the chorizo so that the slices are flat on top of the sugar. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another three minutes.
For the spinach, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium heat and then add the fresh spinach. Cook until wilted, then remove from the heat.
To serve, dish up the polenta, cover with some spinach, and top with the chorizo.